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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Revisions to Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Program Guide


December 21, 2018

Contact: Emily Sandy, (503) 823-7828

Revisions to Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Program Guide Effective Dec. 21, 2018

The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Program Guide has been revised to provide clarification on current requirements and regulations for accessory dwelling units. Please be aware of the following changes made in the guide, effective December 21, 2018:

  • Following legislation effective August 1, 2018, System Development Charges (SDC) waivers will be granted only when the ADU, plus no other structure on the site, is not used as Accessory Short-Term Rental for a period of 10 years. More information on the SDC Waiver Program can be found here.
  • The Construction Standards Section in the program guide now clarifies that the requirements of the building code must be met, except where alternate standards in the program guide are provided. The revised guide more clearly differentiates between requirements for ADUs in a new structure vs. ADUs created through conversion of or addition to an existing structure, where appropriate.
  • When converting an existing finished space to an ADU, a new requirement states that a permit for the finished space in question must have been obtained and received approval of final inspection at least 2 years prior to application for the ADU permit to use the alternate construction standards for fire separation (V.D.2.b in the program guide).
  • The revised guide also provides clarification and information about:
         - Electrical access requirements
         - Requirements of Title 11; Trees;
         - Addressing requirements;
         - Temporary street use permits, if needed during construction

To view the revised guide, click here.

Note: This program guide was further updated, effective January 10, 2019, with corrected information regarding Bureau of Transportation System Development Charges (SDCs).

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